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message 1: by Georgios (new)

Georgios I just watched the documentary that our Hostess has proposed in her Facebook page - The Mask You Live In. While watching it i made a number of notes and i have a number of thoughts in the matter. I will share a few of them to get the conversation going.

From what i seen the documentary perceives masculinity as boys and men conforming to the standards set by their peers in order to be classified as man and boys. The documentary states that masculinity is the rejection of everything that is perceived as femininity. Boys that do not conform to this are under low level threat by their peers.

My own personal opinion is this. People are social beings. They form bonds between them circles, in which the members need to prove that they are worth belonging. So family will impose these standards to their sons, and their sons in turn will try and impose these standards to their peers, sometimes with a twist. Basically what happens is the standards of a past generation are enforced to the new children of a modern generation. And while these standards my have been relevant for older generations and the past, they may be largely inadequate and obsolete now. In essence the role models of past societies have become the stereotypes that these current generations are modelled after. Is it possible perhaps to reverse this by inventing or finding new role models more modern and more relevant to our current social needs?

These standards are enforced through means of social conformity. The more the young people adhere to them the more they are accepted society and their peers.

Here is something else that is stated in the documentary. That one of the primal measures of masculinity is sexual conquest. In my experience men or boys who adhere to these standards get indeed the reward of sexual conquest. There is discussion that in most cases women feel attracted to men who exhibit these traits. The question i would pose to women is that if they feel that this kind of behaviour is wrong for them, (which it is) why do they keep rewarding it in such a manner?

Is there an inconsistency here perhaps? The fact that women and girls are rewarding behaviours that are distressing and wrong for them?


message 2: by Aglaea (new)

Aglaea | 987 comments Hi, I'm curious about the definition of "sexual conquest" in this documentary. Is it "bedding a large number of women" and/or "having a reputation of being an animal in bed" and/or "being a superb lover who brings every woman he beds to heights of orgasm" or something else? Haven't seen the documentary.

For myself, I never discuss bedroom activities in great detail with anyone, not even my close friends. Perhaps I might say something superficial, but I've never experienced picking apart, rating men, etc. first hand. Maybe other women engage in such behaviour, but I find it degrading.

Why? Sex is personal and intimate. Another person trusts me with their innermost so I would never betray that trust. And how could I know that 'he is a real Don Juan' unless another woman betrayed that very same trust? So I wouldn't engage in such discussions, because I find it embarrassing enough.

Also, even though a person can be "bad in bed" with you, he could be magnificent when the right one comes along and some practice has been made.

Ah, another thing to discuss, sexual compatibility obviously is based in attraction, but how are we to know which buttons to push without communication, be it verbal or in other ways? Here's where I think women's and men's magazines are doing humanity a great disservice with their "Do this to please your partner" nonsensical articles. Every person is different and over the course of a lifetime we can also evolve in what excites us.

Personally, I can't stand huge egos who boast their achievements loudly. I'm attracted to intelligence that 'just is' without the typical male pissing contest, who has the biggest baddest car, etc. In ye olden days it would probably have been the caveman who watched the young bucks fight and kill each other, then laid down the law with a perfect single, respect-demanding/-receiving sentence. Silent, charismatic and trustworthy. The loud guys boasting their conquests rather childishly are of no interest to me, because they too are betraying trust in my view and seek approval of others. Carving his own path is much more interesting I think, but I'm probably in a minority among women.


message 3: by Georgios (new)

Georgios Aglaea hi. The documentary discusses the pressures that the percieved sterotypes of masculinity place on modern teenagers and men. It says that sterotypes such as "don Juan", "a mans man" and other similar things issues put unfair pressure on Teenages and they often make them behave in odd or agressive manners,

The documentary is available on netflix.

With regards to your last paragraph:
Aglaea wrote: "Personally, I can't stand huge egos who boast their achievements loudly. I'm attracted to intelligence that 'just is' without the typical male pissing contest, who has the biggest baddest car, etc. In ye olden days it would probably have been the caveman who watched the young bucks fight and kill each other, then laid down the law with a perfect single, respect-demanding/-receiving sentence. Silent, charismatic and trustworthy. The loud guys boasting their conquests rather childishly are of no interest to me, because they too are betraying trust in my view and seek approval of others. Carving his own path is much more interesting I think, but I'm probably in a minority among women. "

I will say that i cannot agree with you more. There is a certain behaviour going on with certain women, especially younger ones that rewards the "matcho" kind of behaviour from men.

If society is imposing a certain stereotype on men then there are many women that would choose a mate based on these standards in order to be able to make a impression to that society.

In short many women will go for men that they or their circle of friends approve, and usually this kind of approval comes with social approval. But social approval comes with fullfilling the "matcho" stereotypes. And hence women and girls have the tables turned on them because of this.

It's a vicious cycle really.


message 4: by Bunny (new)

Bunny Its not spelled matcho. Its spelled macho.


message 5: by Ana, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Ana PF | 746 comments Mod
Relatively easy to misspell while typing fast. However, I am now thinking of a potential beverage which could be called Matcho Matcha, haha, the kind you could find at Dunkin Donuts.


message 6: by Georgios (last edited Jul 26, 2016 01:52PM) (new)

Georgios Bunny wrote: "Its not spelled matcho. Its spelled macho."

Sigh... Who would know that the spelling police now comes with white fur and fluffy ears...


message 7: by Aglaea (new)

Aglaea | 987 comments Georgios wrote: "Bunny wrote: "Its not spelled matcho. Its spelled macho."

Sigh... Who would know that the spelling police now comes with white fur and fluffy ears..."


Well, if we're trying to spell correctly, it's "It's not spelled..." if that's any consolation at all...


message 8: by AJ (new)

AJ (aj3books) | 2 comments At my school this last year, we had a full day where we watched Miss Representation and then went in depth about a lot of the topics covered about how women are misrepresented in the media. We also watched a little bit of The Mask You Live In to get the male's side of misrepresentation and both were very powerful documentaries stating a lot of truths, in both stats and in thoughts that the people had. And Jennifer Siebel Newsom actually came to my school and spoke about both films and I seriously recommend everyone watch both films; they're both huge eyeopeners even if you think you know all about the issues.


message 9: by Aglaea (new)

Aglaea | 987 comments Arti wrote: "At my school this last year, we had a full day where we watched Miss Representation and then went in depth about a lot of the topics covered about how women are misrepresented in the media. We also..."

Thanks for the recommendations, I'll try to hunt them down. They sound useful.


message 10: by Georgios (new)

Georgios Arti wrote: "At my school this last year, we had a full day where we watched Miss Representation and then went in depth about a lot of the topics covered about how women are misrepresented in the media. We also..."

If Miss Representation is on netflix it is in the list for tonight :-)


message 11: by Georgios (new)

Georgios Allright. Mrs Representation is on Netflix and i watched it.

I am still processing it and i might watch it for a second time. However i do think that a lot are blamed on consumerism and advertising. Why am i saying this? Well basically consumerism and advertising will rely on pre-existing stereotypes in order to sell. I do believe that again deep down we are discussing about socially reinforced stereotypes. Stereotypes that used to be the role models of past generations and they have been used for centuries.

Somehow though these role models are no longer suitable for modern societies or they have been horribly twisted or they had aspects added to them that no longer allow them to serve their function.

There was a lot of discussion about the objectification of women in the movie. This is blamed on the media too that promote an unhealthy image about women.

The argument that i seen is this: Media are promoting images such as Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston. The guys seeing how attractive these women are pay attention to them. The girls wanting a part of that attention will try and become like these women the guys are craving, in essence objectifying themselves.

Here are the given in the above hypothesis as i understood it:
There will always be attractive women around.
Men will pay attention to them.
Advertisers will take advantage of that.

However this is what can make things change.

Girls can have different role models. Women like Marie Curie or Amelia Earhart for example. I am talking about women in utilitarian roles. Its in these roles that looks do not matter, but the ability to fullfill the given task.

Should this occur the self objectification of women will stop.

These are my first thoughts in that documentary. They might change however. I think i need people's opinions on the subject.


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